Meet the innovator: Will Gao

    May 7, 2024

    In this edition, we catch up with Will Gao, Chief Commercial Officer and Co-Founder of Suvera a CQC-registered digital healthcare provider that works with general practitioners to support individuals in taking proactive care of their chronic illnesses.

    Current job role:

    Chief Commercial Officer, Co-Founder

    Tell us about your innovation in a sentence:

    Supporting general practice with a virtual clinic to proactively care for patients living with long-term conditions!

    What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

    Working in General Practice as a final-year medical student and realised how stretched the system was and how much we need to think more proactively about our patients. Prevention is the direction of travel, but it requires both the platform and clinical workflows to ensure it’s feasible.

    What three pieces of advice would you give budding innovators?

    1. Ask plenty of questions
    2. Don’t be fixated on your solution
    3. Don’t expect anything to happen without trying.

    What’s been your toughest obstacle?

    Keeping the momentum going despite numerous challenges. Ensuring that we grow sustainably and that we're focused on solving the right problems.

    What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

    Thanks to the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London, we were supported by South East London ICB to look at patients in Lewisham who were having poor outcomes for their cardiovascular health, which is a core NHS priority.

    In a short space of a few months, we are now managing several thousand Lewisham patients and the data indicates we have prevented hundreds of strokes and heart attacks.

    These patients would have otherwise turned up to local emergency departments which increased pressures on the system. We always remind our team that these patients could be friends or family and to never forget that when building our service.

    What is the best part of your job now?

    Now that we are slightly more established and have more long-term partners – we are learning every day and it feels like we have momentum and the ability to truly make an impact on the health service and for patients.

    If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

    Provide more resources for innovation but ensure that these resources are recurring. Stop and starts aren’t beneficial for innovators or the system.

    A typical day for you would include:

    Meeting with several existing and potential partners in the system and translating those insights to the Suvera team to ensure we are building towards something valuable for the system and its patients.

    You can find Suvera on Twitter and LinkedIn.